MINI is taking the fight to the Audi RS3 and Ford Focus RS with a tuned version of its Clubman John Cooper Works. Auto Express has revealed excusive images of what the burly hatchback could look like, and hinted that it will be powered by a 300bhp 2.0-litre turbo with four-wheel drive.
The motoring publication’s source is confident that a new addition to the market can be a success, commenting: “There’s room for expansion in the hot hatch market” adding “I think there is potential. Britain is the home of MINI, and Britain is a strong market for the hot hatch.”
The spy shots show that the incoming model will be three rather than five-door, underlining its focus on buyers wanting more power rather than optimum practicality. MINI seems keen to meet their demands by extracting maximum power from the hot Clubman, as the source’s comments suggest. They note that four-wheel drive models dominate the segment, so any competing MINI would need to include its ALL4 drive system and upwards of 300bhp.
A tuned version of the 2.0-litre turbo unit used in sister brand BMW’s 3 Series is the most likely engine to feature beneath the bonnet. The choice between manual and automatic transmission can also be expected, which could see a 0-60mph time of below five seconds.
Official details from the manufacturer are hotly anticipated, and can be read first here on the Lancaster MINI Milton Keynes website.